RAR for 2019
By Nathan Dewey- RAR Program Specialist
Happy New Year 2019! This is going to be the biggest year ever for the Responsible Association of Retailers (RAR) program here at TEAM Wellness and Prevention and we cannot wait to share it with you all in the months to come. This month we would like to tell you about something that has been in the works for quite some time here at TEAM. We have finally been invited, after a back and forth conversation, to attend and share our RAR Cannabis Chapter experiences at the CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) 29th Annual National Leadership Forum in Washington DC in February. In case you do not know, CADCA is the premier membership organization representing those working to make their communities safe, healthy and drug-free, and have members in every U.S. state and territory and in 23 countries around the world. To give you a bit more insight to why we are going, you should know that CADCA’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally. This is accomplished by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, training and special events.
The reason this is such a big opportunity for us is due to the history we have had with CADCA over the past few years. We have had issues with them concerning our RAR Cannabis Chapter, and the work we do with the cannabis industry here in Colorado. Last summer, we were officially invited to speak at the 17th Annual CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute, to speak about the good work we are doing with Cannabis in Colorado, about our cannabis project, and the truth about the relationships we have in our community with cannabis retailers, state and local law enforcement agencies and the community, what a great opportunity! However, a couple weeks before the event, we were then un-invited due to a big push back from some different state delegations, within the CADCA organization, threatening that they would no longer attend the whole conference unless we were un-invited to speak at the event. We were then un-invited and we really had no choice but to go with their decision and to keep moving forward and try to break down the barriers that exist between states who have and have not legalized cannabis. Through patience and time, and the leadership of our executive director, we were able to get a meeting with the higher-ups at the CADCA administration to help shed some light on the good prevention work we are doing with the cannabis industry here in Colorado. After some further talks and considerations by CADCA, we were finally re-invited to share our knowledge and experience. We will be presenting a “Poster Talk.”
A “Poster Talk” is a way to advertise and share about your organization and the work you are doing. It combines text and graphics to present your organization in a way that is visually interesting and accessible. It allows you to display your work to a large group of others and to talk to and receive feedback from interested parties. Though we would like to have our very own full speaking sessions during the conference, we know this is the right direction for us and our work and we know this will be the next step to getting us into the mainstream sessions at the CADCA conferences. Being the first state to legalize cannabis, and Team W&P being trailblazers by working with the industry in the name of prevention, we have a lot of great knowledge and experiences to help other prevention organizations to understand how to work with the cannabis industry, law enforcement and local communities to promote safe and responsible sales of cannabis in a legalized state. We hope to share the good and the bad things and the experiences we have had to help other prevention organizations in states that have chosen to legalize cannabis as well. After this session, we hope to be invited for full conference sessions in the years to come, where we can truly share the current information on cannabis in Colorado, everything that we have done and everything that we plan to do with the RAR Cannabis program. Our ultimate goal is that we can help other prevention organizations in their communities, as the legalization of cannabis is only moving forward and will not be moving backwards and in the near future will become federally legal.
Finally, we will also be using this opportunity to showcase our cannabis responsible vendor training program TenderWise, ( see earlier RAR TEAM Times articles about this program) and offer out our Turning Over A New Leaf Symposium that we will be hosting in mid-June 2019. The symposium is an opportunity for people and organizations to come to us in Colorado and learn about what we are doing here. I will write future articles on the Turning Over A New Leaf Leaf Symposium in the months ahead, We also have got some big news about RAR that we will be announcing and rolling out over the next few months. The RAR program is set to make a really big impact in our community, as well as more communities in the greater Colorado area.